Sixth in line to the throne, aged 25 and already demonstrating a flair for connecting with people, Princess Beatrice of York is fast becoming the one to watch on the royal engagements scene.
The Princess, eldest daughter of Prince Andrew (The Queen’s second son), has been taking more time in recent months on duties as a member of the Royal Family, including setting up her own connections with various charities, in what one source has told us is a slow move towards a more serious life as a working-royal for Princess Beatrice.
Buckingham Palace maintains that Beatrice is continuing to pursue a career in the financial world, though her increasing number of engagements leads some to wonder whether this will continue to be the case. Local press on the Isle of Wight this week have reported that Princess Beatrice will be making a visit to the island on Monday to carry out a number of engagements around the area including visiting Carisbrooke Castle, Whippingham Church and Priory School in Whippingham and Osborne House (one of Queen Victoria’s residences) in nearby East Cowes.
Under the current arrangements, Princess Beatrice doesn’t carry out ‘official’ royal duties like some of her cousins and uncles. Her engagements are not listed in the court circular and are also not announced in advance, in fact the engagements she chooses to carry out rarely make it into the papers, so
Some courtiers have mused in the past about Prince Charles reducing the number of working royals within the family when he accedes to the throne to just his own family, though there’s little evidence of this being effected now in what officials have termed “preparation for a transition of reigns” between The Queen and Prince Charles.
Beatrice does not receive public funding, though she does have a flat which she shares with her sister Princess Eugenie in St James’s Palace, paid for by their father, just a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace.
The Princess’s efforts to become more involved with charity work has been relatively overt. Last year, she revived her Twitter account from several years previously and turned it into a platform to share insights into her work, like her father the Duke of York had done with his Twitter account, also launched last year. Through it, she shared pictures and tweets about the charities she is involved with.
She has, however, adopted something of an alternative style to her charity work. Instead of relying solely on her royal status to effect promotion of causes, she has involved many of her close friends too including Sir Richard Branson’s children, Sam and Holly Branson and used what Prince Andrew would refer to as their ‘convening power’ to gain publicity for the causes.
In her professional career, Princess Beatrice seems to be at something of a loose end. She is believed to be currently in an internship with Sony after leaving her job in finance last year and little has been heard on that since.
As the minor members of the Royal Family become older and less able to carry out engagements in the same numbers as before, there will be more call on younger members of the Royal Family to take up the duties that can no longer be sustained by them. Whether or not this is limited to Prince Charles and his heirs is very much open to debate, with royal watchers split over how the duties of minor royals will be fulfilled as they begin to reduce their workload, especially as it’s been made clear their heirs (of the Duke of Gloucester and Kent) will not be taking up royal duties.
Princess Beatrice’s future role will also depend upon public acceptance. A life of public duties is not inconceivable for her, though it’s a concept that’s never truly been tested in the media beyond conjecture.
Her manner and approachable nature make her more than suitable for public duties, she has no questionable reputation preceding her (far from it in fact) and she genuinely cares about the charity work she involves herself in.
Whether or not she pursues full time duties is something that the I’ve no doubt will be decided on in the fullness of time, if not already but I for one very much hope she does.
Photo credit: Surtsicna – CC2.0